10 July 2015
Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry has launched a consultation on a new Further Education Strategy for Northern Ireland.
The Minister said: The new strategy will set out the future direction of further education in Northern Ireland, providing a huge opportunity to drive positive economic change, promote individual opportunity and achieve greater social cohesion.
The strategy aims to deliver an ambitious and prestigious further education system that will be recognised locally, nationally and internationally for high quality and economically relevant education and training.
The consultation document seeks views on a series of policy commitments that will establish a world class system of further education in Northern Ireland. These recommendations are set out under a number of themes including economic development, social inclusion, curriculum delivery, international dimension, college partnerships and promoting the further education sector.
The Minister continued: 'The further education sector plays a pivotal role in developing a strong and vibrant economy, through the development of professional and technical skills, increasingly at higher levels, and by helping employers to innovate. Another key role for the sector is supporting social inclusion by providing those who have low or no qualifications, or who have barriers to learning, with the skills and qualifications needed to find employment and to become economically active.
I encourage all stakeholders to engage with my Department during the consultation period as their responses will be crucial in informing the shape and detail of the final strategy which will be published in autumn 2015.
The consultation period will run for twelve weeks from 10 July 2015 until 5pm on 2 October 2015. The consultation documents can be viewed at: http://www.delni.gov.uk/consultation-zone.